Service Dogs for Hearing

Service Dogs for Hearing are specially trained to help people who are deaf or have hearing loss. Service Dogs for Hearing can alert their partners to sounds around the home and in public.

Service Dogs for Hearing are especially sensitive to noises, and a deaf partner can learn a lot about his or her environment just by watching the dog’s visual cues. A dog may notice when someone approaches from behind and tries to get the attention of his or her handler. A Service Dogs for Hearing, along with his or her "Service Dogs for Hearing " vest, is often the first indicator to the public that the individual may need to be spoken to face-to-face or in another manner.

Service Dogs for Hearing communicate with their deaf partners by making physical contact with them and then leading them to the location of the sound. Small dogs will jump up on a person's leg or lap to alert their partner, while large dogs will seek out a person's hand with their nose to make contact.

Our Service Dogs for Hearing are primarily black and yellow Labrador Retrievers. Our Service Dogs for Hearing program is available to anyone ages 15 and older.

Here are some of the sounds a Service Dog for Hearing can alert their partner to, as demonstrated in the video:

  • A door knock
  • Smoke detector alarm
  • Alarm clock ringing
  • Tea kettle whistling
  • Telephone or cell phone ringing
  • Keys dropping
  • Traffic approaching
  • The name of the dog's handler to alert the person when he or she is being spoken to
  • General sound awareness

The process to receive a NEADS Service Dog involves multiple steps. Start the process by taking our Prequalifying Questionnaire to find out if a Service Dog is right for you.

Take the Prequalifying Questionnaire here.

NEADS in the News

WCVB-TV Chronicle: World Class Service Dogs trained in Princeton, Mass

October 24, 2022

NEEDHAM, Mass. — Kitty Mahoney experienced sudden and permanent hearing loss in 1997 after a diagnosis of meningitis. At the time, she was raising three young children, and her career was flourishing. She received her canine companion from NEADS to help her with important day-to-day functions. Watch the story here